Wednesday, February 4, 2009

White lines.... runnin' through my mind

It's been another massive week of news for football in this wide brown land of ours...

Most significantly from a red-shirted point of view, Rostyn Griffiths has signed with Adelaide on a four-week deal. It seems we cunning Reds have exploited the A-League's injury-cover rules to obtain the 20-year-old Blackburn reservist as a replacement for North Queensland-bound Jason Spagnuolo, instead of calling up a National Youth League player. I disagree with this in principle, but in practice... high five, mofos. Especially if he does well and Adelaide take up the option to sign up the Welsh-Aussie midfielder on a two season contract.

The Newcastle Jets, having read and pondered on my previous post about how crap they are, have decided to finally do something about it and start rebuilding their decimated squad ahead of their Asian Champions League campaign. According to their official site, they've sealed the deal with AUFC folk hero and all-round legend Angelo Costanzo, gun-for-hire Sasho Petrovski (the whore with a shirt of gold - currently giving Damian Mori a run for his money for the title of 'A-League's most money-hungry mercenary bastard ever'), and Dutch striker with typically awesome name Donny de Groot. On top of this, they've added ex-Sydney FC and Sydney United coach (and Jason's dad) Branko Culina to their staff as football director. Oh, the oedipal conflicts that will arise when the Jets & Gold Coast collide...

The biggest surprise for Newcastle, though, is their signing of ex-Socceroo and current employee of Ricky Diaco's family's garden shop, Ljubo Milicevic. It's great to see that the Ljub-mobile has regained the hunger to keep playing at a high level - recent interviews paint a picture of Ljubo as an intelligent and articulate guy who doesn't quite fit the mould of a stereotypical football player.

He's fought battles with his own and other peoples' expectations of him and has had a long journey struggling to cope with depression, even when leading his team into battle in the European Champions League. If he can get back into a good place he's certainly got the talent to make a big impact in the A-League. If there is any justice in the world he will be back in the Socceroos squad for the 2010 World Cup, after the disappointments of 2006.

Undoubtedly, though, the biggest news of the week has been the North Queensland Fury snaring the signature of Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler. In his prime he was one of the most dangerous goal poachers in the world, and he's still only 33 years old. It'll be interesting to see whether North Queensland can provide the service to make the most of the ageing tap-in merchant's abilities - although Jason Spagnuolo was able to put a goal on a platter for Romario at Hindmarsh, so there's certainly hope.

Worryingly, God's manifestation in Townsville has been the catalyst for The Times Online writing an article entitled 'Sport's top ten biggest bellies'. Fowler was never known for his trim physique, however, and history is littered with plenty of examples of fat bastards playing excellent football (think Diego Maradona, or closer to home Charlie Miller). There's not much else I can add to the myriad of existing articles about this signing, other than to say that I hope it goes well, so for now I shall leave you with a picture of the great man that has captured an exquisite moment of athleticism, passion, and heroic dedication to the cause...

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